Alzheimer’s and a Healthy Lifestyle

The Importance of Dietary Changes:

In a 2002 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine findings indicate that people with high blood levels of a toxic amino acid known as homocysteine have twice the usual risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. (1) Elevated homocysteine levels tend to be higher in people whose diets are high in animal protein such as fried foods, fatty beef, fast foods, butter, ice cream, whipped creme, commercially baked products, and some margarine’s that contain partially hydrogenated oils, etc.; whereas, fruits and leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, and broccoli provides folic acid and other B vitamins to help the body reduce homocysteine levels.(2)

The combined use of folate and vitamin B12 is very helpful in partially restoring the plasma homocystein levels and changes in memory deficits. For the full abstract visit: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23157378

There is no clear cause and effect, but a reduction in animal proteins and an increase in more plant foods is a good idea in general especially for people with Alzheimer’s disease. There are other benefits to the green leafy vegetables because they contain lutein…a very important nutrient for eye health.

A wide array of the foods that provide a good sources of vitamin E are also rich in n-3 fatty acids and non hydrogenated, unsaturated fats. Among these foods are olive oil-based salad dressings, nuts, seeds, fish, mayonnaise, and eggs.

Other foods rich in health benefits include beets, beet juice, oatmeal, caviar, fatty fish, turnips, parsnips, clams, oysters, crab, lobster, walnuts, soybeans, tomato juice, bok choy and peanut butter.

One very interesting and healthy spice is turmeric because of curcumin with its rich anti-inflammatory components. The spice is widely used in India and it’s interesting to note that elderly villagers in India have one of the world’s lowest rates of Alzheimer’s. Many believe that the reason may be the turmeric that is widely used in their daily curries.

Discuss healthy food choices with your doctor and keep working toward improving your diet.

References

1 New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 346, February 14, 2002,. 

2.2006;354(15):1567-77.The New England Journal of Medicine